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7 Financial Practices for Building Good Relationships with Suppliers

Strong supplier relationships are key to keeping small businesses afloat in today’s rapidly evolving market. These relationships are the backbone of successful operations, as they provide the materials or products necessary for your business.

Furthermore, they also open up significant opportunities for business growth through better pricing, a more reliable supply chain, and access to innovations. If you can maintain good relations with your suppliers, you’ll be assured of a mutual understanding on how to do business well—and a sense of collaboration that can weather the storms of market fluctuations and supply chain disruptions.

checking inventory supply

To nurture these relationships with your suppliers, you’ll need to practise sound financial management. Suppliers value partners who are transparent, fair, and consistent in their dealings, especially where large amounts of money are concerned. Good financial practices signal to your suppliers that your business stands on solid ground and that it’s capable of enduring challenges while maintaining an honest and trustworthy partnership. This foundation will pave the way for negotiations that can lead to improved terms and conditions for both parties, which would only further cement a relationship built on mutual respect.

We at Target Accounting are happy to provide small business accounting Dunedin residents and those located all over New Zealand can depend on. We’re also well-positioned to offer expert financial advice to entrepreneurs looking to improve supplier relations. Let’s examine seven practical financial practices you can apply to your business operations today:

1. Timely Payments

Imagine the positive impact of receiving a payment not just on time but perhaps even earlier than expected. This practice will do wonders for your relationship with your suppliers, as it shows respect for their financial needs and stability.

Your effort to make prompt payments will help you build trust with your individual suppliers as well as put you in a better position for favourable terms in the future. Take advantage of this simple yet powerful way to demonstrate your reliability as a partner.

cashless payment

2. Transparent Communication

Honesty is the cornerstone of any strong relationship, and this holds true in the business world as well. Keeping your suppliers in the loop about your financial health and future plans can help manage expectations on both sides.

If there’s a bump in the road, such as a delay in payment or a sudden change in order volume, communicating this early can help mitigate any potential strain on the relationship. Being transparent with your suppliers can encourage them to trust and cooperate with you even in difficult times, and it may also motivate them to stay with your business long-term.

3. Mutually Beneficial Payment Terms

When determining payment terms, it’s crucial to find a middle ground where both parties feel their needs are being met. Try to negotiate payment terms that afford you flexibility during tighter periods while also considering the financial pressures your suppliers may face. This will go a long way in creating a partnership where both sides can thrive.

Whether it's agreeing on extended payment terms during your off-peak season or securing discounts for early payment, these arrangements should aim to benefit both your business and your suppliers, so that each relationship remains sustainable and productive.

talking to supplier

4. Volume Commitments

A locked-in commitment to purchase specific volumes over time is a great way to demonstrate your reliability to your suppliers. This approach will send the message that your interactions are not merely transactional. It will also speak to your intent to forge a lasting partnership with the supplier in question.

Guarantee a certain volume of business, and you can provide your suppliers with the stability they need to plan their production schedules and manage their inventory more efficiently. In return, your suppliers may see fit to offer better pricing or terms that reflect the reduced risk and guaranteed sales volume of your arrangement.

Such commitments can be particularly valuable in negotiations, as they help to secure long-term benefits for both parties and reinforce the mutual support essential for a thriving business relationship.

5. Regular Reviews and Feedback

Regular review meetings with your suppliers can help lay the foundation for a strong long-term partnership. Treat these sessions as opportunities to share feedback, address concerns in real time, and explore ways to improve processes and outcomes.

Be proactive about establishing a culture of transparency and continuous improvement with your suppliers, especially so that you can all adjust to changing market conditions and to each other's evolving needs. An ongoing dialogue will ensure that both sides are aligned and can address any issues before they escalate.

joint planning with supplier

6. Joint Planning and Forecasting

Sharing your business forecasts might seem like giving away part of your playbook, but in a partnership built on trust, it's a strategic move. Consider letting your suppliers in on your future plans and expected demands, which will better prepare them to meet your needs. This could mean securing necessary materials in advance or adjusting production schedules to ensure timely delivery. In turn, planning together can lead to more efficient operations and potentially lower costs.

7. Loyalty and Incentives

Demonstrating loyalty to your suppliers can pay substantial dividends. You could provide incentives for consistent performance, such as guaranteed volume orders or longer-term contracts. These gestures will show them that you value the relationship and are committed to its growth.

In response, suppliers are often more willing to offer preferential rates, invest in quality improvements, or provide first access to new products. Loyalty breeds loyalty and creates a positive feedback loop that strengthens supplier and client relationships.

With these practices in your pocket, your business can build a solid foundation with your suppliers, characterised by mutual respect, trust, and cooperation. This foundation will not only enhance day-to-day operations but also help build a resilient supply chain capable of weathering big challenges and capitalising on the most profitable opportunities.

We at Target Accounting are happy to assist our client businesses in matters pertaining to their financial health, including those that relate to supplier relationships. Contact Target Accounting today to learn more about the accounting and business advisory services we offer.


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